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Transatlantic Dialogues in Sustainability: Edward Carpenter, Henry David Thoreau, and the Literature of Simplification

Adkins, Peter (2017) Transatlantic Dialogues in Sustainability: Edward Carpenter, Henry David Thoreau, and the Literature of Simplification. In: Victorian Sustainability in Literature and Culture. Among the Victorians and the Modernists . Routledge, London, pp. 51-68. ISBN 978-1-4724-7098-0. E-ISBN 978-1-315-54826-5. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:76236)

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Abstract

This chapter explores the ways in which Henry David Thoreau's Walden came to bear on Edward Carpenter's writings on simplicity in the 1880s and shaped his vision of a society forged through a sustainable relationship with the nonhuman world. It suggests that Thoreau's influence on Carpenter's writing, but in paying particular attention to Carpenter's reading, or misreading, of Walden, it is possible to chart how Carpenter actively recontextualised and reformulated Thoreau to meet the demands of Victorian socialism. The chapter analyses how Carpenter's approach to materiality and materialism both draws upon and enacts a severance with Transcendentalist ways of thinking about nature and, in doing so, transgresses conventional, and even contemporary, notions of sustainability. Continuous with Carpenter's transatlantic refashioning of Thoreau's ideas on social and economic sustainability was an interest in Transcendentalist notions of the natural world.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Edward Carpenter; Henry David Thoreau; Walden; Socialism; 19th century literature
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Comparative Literature
Depositing User: Peter Adkins
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2019 10:39 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2019 09:08 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/76236 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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